Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Violates Public Trust
For Immediate Release:
February 2, 2010
Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign 406-646-0070, bfc-media"at"wildrockies.org
Mike Mease, Buffalo Field Campaign, 406-646-0070, mease"at"wildrockies.org
West Yellowstone, Montana - Montana's wildlife agency, Fish, Wildlife & Parks (MFWP) announced today their decision to send all 88 quarantined Yellowstone bison to the private lands of billionaire Ted Turner. The Yellowstone bison were part of a state-federal Quarantine Feasibility Study, which had the stated goal of placing brucellosis-free bison on public or tribal lands.
"This decision is incongruent with the stated goals of the Quarantine Feasibility Study and the legality of it is highly questionable," said Stephany Seay media coordinator with Buffalo Field Campaign. "It is a huge disappointment and sets the very dangerous precedent in Montana of privatizing public wildlife," said Stephany Seay.
Native American tribes have expressed interest in these Yellowstone buffalo for years, yet MFWP flatly denied tribal proposals to acquire the buffalo. In addition, thousands of acres of public lands are available in Montana, specifically Wildlife Management Areas, yet MFWP also failed to consider these lands for buffalo.
The Quarantine Feasibility Study is part of the Interagency Bison Management Plan, the document driving highly controversial wild bison management in the Yellowstone region.
"Buffalo Field Campaign has always been opposed to quarantine, and this decision is more proof that the Quarantine Feasibility Study was ill-conceived," said BFC policy coordinator Josh Osher. "Today's decision by MFWP is a further indication that the Interagency Bison Management Plan is a failure and that a new plan needs to be developed."
Buffalo Field Campaign is the only group working in the field, every day, to stop the slaughter of the wild American buffalo. Volunteers defend the buffalo and their habitat and advocate for their lasting protection.